Friday, January 09, 2009

Civil War Game on Thursday Night in December Next Season?

Oregon Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny has been negotiating with ESPN TV and Oregon State University to move the "Civil War" football game at Autzen Stadium next season in Eugene to a Thursday night in December for the television money it would raise. I like Pat Kilkenny and think he has done a lot for the University of Oregon but this is a bad idea. Not only is the weather bad in December, a Thursday night game would prohibit many Oregon Duck fans in Southern Oregon from attending the game. It would involve missing work on both Thursday and Friday and a motel stay in Eugene or Cottage Grove. It is not safe, even on I-5, to drive back to Southern Oregon late at night after a game what with the bad weather we get in December.There is the problem of snow, ice, rain, fog and deer in the dark. Is the TV money worth an injury accident or worse? It is a three hour trip over mountain passes from Medford to Eugene on Interstate 5 and three hours back. It's doable in September or October for a Saturday night game but not a Thursday night game in December. There would be similar problems for Duck fans in other parts of the state including Portland, Bend, and the Oregon coast.This past season Oregon State played U$C in October on a Thursday night for the TV money and they did not sell out their stadium.

The "Civil War" game is not just a game but a gathering of the State of Oregon for tailgate parties where friends and family, both Duck and Beaver, join together in friendly rivalry before we get serious for the game. This will be difficult on a Thursday night even for those who live in the Eugene/Springfield area

Please keep the game on Saturday. Kilkenny is in a tough spot. The Oregon Athletic Department is self supporting and in tough economic times they need to explore every source of additional revenue; but, a Thursday night game in December is the wrong choice. Go Ducks!